Outside President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s office, South African police uprooted a cannabis garden that had been growing for more than three years. As they drag a shoulder-high cannabis plant across the presidential grounds in Pretoria, police arrest a Khoisan leader who is clinging to it. According to AFP reporters, South African police uprooted cannabis plants produced by indigenous activists who had been camping outside President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office for over three years.
Police dragged a shoulder-height plant across the presidential grounds in Pretoria before arresting their leader, who was dressed in a traditional loincloth. He screamed, “Police! You’ve declared war!” We’ve had a pleasant stay here. We’re on our way to taking you down. ” King Khoisan of South Africa, as he is known, issued a warning.
The Khoisan were previously known as Bushmen or Hottentots, a term established by Dutch invaders in the 17th century to describe their language’s clicks. Another activist yelled at the cops in Afrikaans during the raid, asking: “Plants, perhaps?” Plants, perhaps? In uniform, you’re a bunch of scum. “ Since 2018, when the group started a campaign for formal recognition of their languages, their tarpaulin tents have been a permanent feature on the lush lawns of the South African president’s office.
A large bronze statue of Nelson Mandela, the country’s first black president, sits mere meters (yards) away from one of the tents. The tiny party was stormed by almost two dozen cops, some wearing riot gear, others riding horses, and some with sniffer dogs. Police did not react to AFP’s request for comment, but journalists on the scene heard investigators suggest the raid was for cannabis planted in the campaigners’ vegetable garden six months ago.
In a landmark decision that pitted law enforcement authorities against supporters of the plant, known locally as dagga, South Africa’s top court decriminalized the private and personal use of cannabis in 2018. Hundreds of thousands of Khoisan people live in South Africa.